Educational research and studies show that the standard of leadership in schools has a direct impact on the quality of academic and other achievements for students.
Newly appointed senior leaders are often surprised by the number and scale of interesting yet highly challenging responsibilities which accompany their roles: very often, experience in teaching prior to this level has not provided the opportunity to hone the skills required. This new, vibrant and informative conference provides a vital insight for anybody within, or aspiring to, a senior leadership role.
The conference brings together leading experts and key practitioners from a range of disciplines, who will give sessions focusing on many of the key areas in leadership: leading on teaching and learning, leading on pastoral care, day-to-day school/MAT operations, complex HR matters, and above all leading staff and pupils to achieve their very best in all areas.
Leaders are often called in when things go wrong, but have not always had the first-hand experience to equip them to respond effectively. In time, experience will provide, but problems do not wait, and so senior leaders need key skills to respond straight away. Theses sessions have been designed to provide practical skills and methodologies which can be applied in real settings, allowing newly appointed leaders to hit the ground running.
This is a conference not only for those who are newly appointed or who aspire to a role in educational leadership in the near future, but also for experienced professionals who may be supporting newly promoted leaders, or who wish to update their own understanding of key issues affecting educators today.
Pepe Di’Iasio – General Secretary Elect, ASCL (Invited) Pepe will take over as General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) in April 2024. Pepe is currently headteacher at Wales High School in Rotherham and served as ASCL President 2021/22. He began his teaching career in Doncaster before moving as deputy headteacher to an 11-19 teaching school in Sheffield. He has also worked as an executive headteacher of two high schools and assistant director of education for Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council. He was formerly chair of ASCL Equality, Inclusion and Ethics Committee.
David Gajadharsingh – Chair of The Society of Heads; Academic and Pastoral Principal, The Royal Ballet School David Gajadharsingh did his first degree in Aeronautical Engineering and then went on to study for his PGCE at Oxford University. He started his teaching career at Peers School in Blackbird Leys, Oxford. He left teaching for a brief sojourn with Glaxo Pharmaceuticals in their sales and marketing department before returning to the profession, as a Physics teacher, Head of Year, Head of Physics and Deputy Headmaster. David took up the post of Headmaster of Bedstone College in Shropshire in 2011 and joined the Royal Ballet School in April 2019. David has always been involved in playing and teaching sport and has gained county, national and international honours in fencing. At Oxford he was awarded a fencing ‘Blue’ and he has run clubs in fencing, football, basketball, badminton, table tennis and cricket during his teaching career. David was born in Trinidad and Tobago. David is married to Gabi and they have two daughters.
Emma Hattersley – Co-Head of the Schools’ Practice at Saxton Bampfylde Emma has worked as co-head of the Schools’ Practice at Saxton Bampfylde since 2022. She has worked with a number of prestigious independent and maintained sector schools placing candidates in a variety of leadership positions. Prior to her role in executive search, Emma has spent over three decades teaching in a variety of educational settings. Emma was Head of Godolphin School, an HMC day and boarding school, for nine years, before which she was a Housemistress at Canford School and Deputy Head at Sherborne Girls. She brings extensive understanding of educational leadership. She has chaired the HMC Inspection sub-committee, served as an inspector for ISI and is a former member of the ISI Educational Advisory Forum. She read music at Durham University and then studied for two years at the Royal Academy of Music as a postgraduate.
Maria Strauss – Partner, Farrer and Co. specialist in employment and safeguarding Maria advises clients including not-for-profit organisations, independent schools, sports clubs and faith-based organisations on employment and safeguarding matters. She also acts for senior executive clients, particularly in the context of investigations or inquiries that they may be involved in. Maria has guided employer clients through many complex matters ranging from one off cases to issues that may involve or impact many staff members. She also advises HR teams (from all sectors) on more routine areas of employment law, such as performance management and staff exits. Maria was one of the founding members of Farrer & Co’s Safeguarding Unit. She advises all types of organisations who work with children on their legal obligations and has helped clients embed safer cultures through audits and support with policies and procedures. As well as advisory work, Maria has advised on a significant number of safeguarding cases. Maria is a versatile lawyer with excellent knowledge of related legal areas such as GDPR, charity law, disputes and insurance law. She co-leads the firm’s investigations practice.
Trevor Greenhill – STEER Tracking Trevor brings with him 33 years of teaching experience in the primary and secondary sector. In addition to teaching and elite sports coaching, Trevor was a boarding House Master for 19 years at Millfield school in Somerset, UK and prior to that a Day House Master and Head of Year for 5 years at Colfe’s School, London. He joined the STEER team in 2017 and has been guiding some of our largest senior schools from launch, through roll-out, towards accredited status. Trevor has been pioneering the use of STEER Tracking in Premier League Football academies, demonstrating the impact the tool can have on the sustained, holistic performance and wellbeing of elite young players. Trevor is passionate about sharing the contribution STEER Tracking can make to pastoral care, safeguarding and long term pupil wellbeing in schools and is becoming a well-known contributor at conferences and events, sharing his experience of working with 70+ schools and academies. STEER has wellbeing data for 70,000+ pupils during the last 5 years which clearly shows the impact of Covid lockdowns.
Michaela Khatib – Executive Headteacher, Cobham Free School Michaela Khatib read Education and Music at Homerton College, Cambridge, holds a Masters Degree in Leading Innovation and Change in Education and has completed the National Professional Qualification in Executive Leadership. Michaela’s career has involved leadership roles in the independent and state sector, and managing the Partnerships and Outreach programme at The Yehudi Menuhin School, Surrey. Following a successful bid to the DfE, Michaela founded Cobham Free School and now leads the all-through establishment as Executive Headteacher. She has written various articles on education topics, including for the TES, been on advisory boards for ‘Best Practice Network’ and ‘Parents and Teachers for Excellence’ and recently collaborated with Northumbria University on a research publication about ‘how to create a school’.
Ben Gudgeon – Chair, International Forum of Arts Educators Ben is the headmaster of The Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey, a school which provides highly gifted young classical musicians with specialist tuition alongside academic study. He studied in Music and French at Bristol University and the Sorbonne (Paris). He went on to study in the USA at postgraduate level in vocal performance, conducting, and piano, whilst teaching undergraduate music theory and piano. After ten years as a freelance performer, Ben turned to education, specialising first in performing arts education and then in pastoral care. He is a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians, Chair of the International Forum of Arts Educators, and a Trustee of ArtsEd.
Victoria Raynor – Safeguarding Consultant; Chair of the International Forum of Safeguarding Professionals As a strategic leader in the field of Safeguarding in Education, Victoria is dedicated to driving change and improving outcomes for children and young people. With nearly twenty years of experience, she has developed a deep understanding of the complex challenges involved in safeguarding in education, and has honed her skills in developing and implementing effective strategies to address them. Victoria has a proven track record of delivering successful projects and initiatives that have improved outcomes for children and young people, and has built strong relationships with key stakeholders in the education sector, advising education leaders on safeguarding best practices. Her expertise in strategic leadership includes developing and implementing safeguarding policies and procedures that are tailored to the specific needs of schools and educational institutions, designing and delivering training and awareness-raising sessions for staff, students and parents, and conducting safeguarding reviews and audits to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. Through her work, Victoria is passionate about ensuring that every child and young person in education is protected from harm or abuse, and has the opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential.
Dr Andy Kemp – Principal, Head of the National Mathematics and Sciences College Dr Andy Kemp is Principal of The National Mathematics and Science College, based in the Midlands on the edge of the Warwick University campus. The National Mathematics and Science College is the top performing specialist STEM sixth form day and boarding school in the UK. Joining NatMatSci was something of a homecoming for him as he studied for his BSc in Mathematics, PGCE, MSc and EdD in Mathematics Education all at the University of Warwick. More recently he has completed his MBA at UCL in 2017. He has spoken at conferences around the world in relation to the role that technology and AI play in education, and has been published in several journals, magazines, and collective works.